Well, we’re in the home stretch. At 37 weeks, Baby Lavender-Mulkey is now considered full term. The arrival of our little bundle of joy is no longer out there somewhere; in fact the due date is only three weeks away. However, it’s actually a due month, since birth could take place any time between August 22 and September 19. Yikes, time to get that bag packed for the hospital!
Now that the changes we’ve made to make room for Baby are almost complete, our earlier thoughts of needing a bigger home seem a bit foolish at this point. Our friend Cecil helped hang some cabinets, create some shelves and make additional storage space, and Shonnie’s done a fine job of organizing and decorating the nursery. If you know Shonnie well, you know that she’s found a place for everything and everything is in its place.
It’s been intriguing (and sometimes amusing) to observe the various perspectives of friends and relatives regarding the path we’ve chosen and the manner in which we’ve undertaken it. Almost everyone continues to be extraordinarily supportive—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yet every now and then, I get a sense that someone doesn’t really “get” the choices we’ve made. But then, we’re doing this because it fits for us regardless of what might work for someone else.
If a doubt ever arises about bringing a child into the world, all I need do is look at Shonnie and my mind is at ease. It’s clear to me that Shonnie was born to be a mama. From the graceful way she moves (yes, even as she rolls herself over to get out of bed); to the joy, excitement, love and intention with which she’s carried our child; to the curiosity and serenity with which she anticipates the birth process, it is clear to me that this is the path we were meant to take together.
Shonnie says that Baby is our teacher, and I’ve already gotten verification of this. A few days ago, I was feeling the anticipation of the birth that’s upon us, and I suddenly realized that this is the way my Mom and Dad, Sue and Mack, must have felt as my birth approached. I’d never really comprehended that, and when I told Mom, she confirmed my hunch. The powerful love and deep devotion that she expressed toward me and my siblings reminded me of the extraordinary loyalty a lioness feels toward her cubs, an instinctual impulse to fight to the death to protect them. And my guess is that Shonnie’s parents felt very similarly about her arrival into their lives.
A second realization came to me out of the exceptional generosity of those around us. I don’t think I’ve been very consistent about acknowledging the special events in other folks’ lives, especially the profound experience of bringing a new life into the world. I hereby commit to doing this differently going forward.